Update - see below for link to relevant article on RealClimate and more.
WUWT had an article by Brandon Schollenberger in which, by a string of seriously flawed logic, he accused Dr James Hansen of being a climate science denier.
Of course, this champion of climate science is anything but.
However the same day, Anthony Watts posted a display of absolute science denial by one Matt Ridley (archived here). I've written about Matt Ridley before a few times, such as here. Matt Ridley pretends that paleoclimate records are all wrong, writing utter junk:
Given that these were the most prominent and recognisable graphs used to show evidence of unprecedented climate change in recent decades, and to justify unusual energy policies that hit poor people especially hard, this case of cherry-picked publication was just as potentially shocking and costly as Tamiflugate. Omission of inconvenient data is a sin in government science as well as in the private sector.
Matt Ridley tried to resurrect an old, tired and failed disinformation tactic. He claimed that an obsessive by the name of Stephen McIntyre "unearthed problems" in paleo temperature reconstructions and Matt is implying that earth hasn't warmed compared to the past. Matt is intent on doing his utmost to burn up the world to a cinder. How's that for exaggeration! But it is probably a truer statement than any in Matt Ridley's despicable article.
Matt Ridley has opted for the Serengeti Strategy. He's singled out Michael Mann and Keith Briffa and is lying about their research. Yes, there were some statistical errors in the first Mann reconstruction but they made no intrinsic difference to the result. As for Keith Briffa - I know of no-one who has questioned his meticulous research and found it wanting. Except for failed banker Matt Ridley - but Matt couldn't tell a bristlecone from a bar of soap let alone understand the ins and outs of dendrochronology.
In any case, Michael Mann's initial results have been confirmed by multiple subsequent reconstructions using many different types of proxies from many different sources, carried out by many different independent teams of researchers.
Matt Ridley is telling big fat lies.
There are numerous temperature reconstructions of the past using a variety of proxies, many more than the "handful of ...trees" that Matt Ridley wants to have you believe. They are described in Chapter 5 of the IPCC's latest WG1 report. For example, below is Figure 5.7 - click to enlarge it.
|Figure 5.7 IPCC AR5 WG1 Reconstructed (a) Northern Hemisphere and (b) Southern Hemisphere, and (c) global annual temperatures during the last 2000 years. Individual reconstructions (see Appendix 5.A.1 for further information about each one) are shown as indicated in the legends, grouped by colour according to their spatial representation (red: land-only all latitudes; orange: land-only extra-tropical latitudes; light blue: land and sea extra-tropical latitudes; dark blue: land and sea all latitudes) and instrumental temperatures shown in black (HadCRUT4 land and sea, and CRUTEM4 land-only; Morice et al., 2012). All series represent anomalies (°C) from the 1881–1980 mean (horizontal dashed line) and have been smoothed with a filter that reduces variations on timescales less than ~50 years.|
I don't have time to research or go into all the ins and outs of Matt Ridley's wrongs. I do notice that he is swinging further into denial and disinformation as time goes by. I think that for a man of his stature (he managed to get into the British House of Lords) - shrunken though it is by his spectacular failure in his own field of endeavour - to go to such lengths to disinform the public is utterly disgusting. And all the people who promote his disinformation, like Anthony Watts and Lord Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation - are equally despicable characters.
What do you think?
I don't have time to look at the WUWT comments, either. You can see them for yourself in the archive here. They will doubtless enlighten readers about the madness of denial much more than science.
Tim Osborne reminded me about the RealClimate article on his and Keith Briffa and co's recent work. While Matt Ridley is tweeting the Auditor as his "authority" once again. Perhaps he really is so scientifically illiterate he can't tell the difference between a wannabe denier like McIntyre and real science from the experts. It's more likely that Matt can tell the difference. After all, he's on the GWPF bandwagon. The GWPF expects him to misinform the public. That's what it does and it's presumably why they exist and why they back him - and vice versa.